Cuy - roasted guinea pig
Cuy, rosted guinea pig, is a traditional food in the Andean region. I had not eaten cuy on my previous visits to Ecuador, so I was happy to hear we were going to have cuy for dinner the first night I stayed in Urbina.
The guinea pigs were prepared in the kitchen. They were dipped in hot water to make it easy to pluck the fur of the animal. Then parts where hair was still left were put near the flame on the stove so that the remaining hair could easily be plucked.
We were five people sharing the meat from two guinea pigs. Together with the meat we got potatoes, beans, maize and something I don’t know the name of. I think the cuy tasted good and I will definitely eat it again if I get the chance.
Some people say that cuy taste like chicken or rabbit. I don’t think it tasted like chicken, but it had a richer flavor, and rabbit I can’t remember how it taste, so can’t compare.
Locro de Papa
A speciality from the highlands is Locro de Papa, a thick soup made of potatoes, often served with cheese and avocado. Ingredients and preparation can vary though from place to place and sometimes it is made with corn.
I ate Locro de Papa a few times during my visit in Ecuador. Twice at Fruteria Monserrate in Quito.
I had heard they have a good Locro de papas with avocado and cheese, but when I arrived at 11.00 it was not ready yet, so I ordered Locro de papas con almejas (mussels) for $1.50 (June 2011). The soup tasted good, and I must say it tasted better than the Locro de papas with avocado and cheese, which I had another day.
Another time I ate Locro de Papa at Restaurante San Francisco in the Archbishop Palace in Quito. The restaurant is situated on the second floor, on a balcony around the courtyard. Here it was much more expensive and for a Locro de Papa and an orange juice, with IVA and service, it was $9.39 (August 2011).
In Cuenca I ate Locro de Papa at Raymipampa, a popular café and restaurant on the west side of Parque Calderon. The soup was good and was also served with two pieces of fresh bread. Soup, beer and IVA was $3.49 (July 2011).
The most expensive Locro de Papa I have had at Mea Culpa in Quito. With a mango juice, tax and service it was $11.41 (July 2012). But it was not the best. I think the best Locro de Papa I have eaten in Ecuador was at Tianguez in Quito. With a maracuya juice it was $6 (June 2012).
Jugos y batidos
I love the fruit juices of Ecuador! There are lots of different juices made of fresh fruits. If it is made with milk instead of water it is called batido.
My favourites are batido de frutilla (strawberry) and jugo de guanabana, as well as jugo de mango and jugo de maracuya (passionfruit). Sometimes I also order juice made of papaya, tomate de arbol (tree tomato) or naranjilla. Mora (blackberry) or piña (pinapple) I only take if there is no other choice.
I drink the juices for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Encebollado - an Ecuadorian soup
Encebollado is a fish and onion soup with yucca, tomatoes and spices. It is often served with popcorn and banana chips (chifles). It is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is served both in restaurants and by street vendors. Encebollado is said to be very good against hangovers.
I ate an encebollado at the small restaurant Encebollados Juan Chope in La Florida in Quito.
When I walked from the metrobus stop La Florida up to La Florida Burial Chambers (it is quite long) I had my eyes open for a place where I could eat after the visit. La Florida is a quiet residential area but not far from the museum I saw a small restaurant, Encebollados Juan Chope, and decided to stop there for lunch after I had visited the burial chambers.
On the sign outside Encebollados Juan Chope it says they serve encebollados, ceviches, rice with seafood and fish. I sat down at the outdoor table and asked if they had Ceviche de Pascado. At the moment they hadn’t, and from the four meals they had I choose encebollado. It was served with popcorn and banana chips. Besides the onions (which I’m not very fond of) it tasted good. It was $1.90 (July 2012).
Lo Nuestro, Guayaquil: Ummm, So Good!
Great ambiance,decor, service, food, and moderate prices. A good selection of local and international dishes offered from the menu.
Favorite Dish: I selected a local seafood dish as seafood is my favorite, and they did not disappoint.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Set lunch - Almuerzo
At lunch time many restaurants have a set lunch menu including a soup (sopa), a main dish (segundo) and a small dessert (postre). For the main dish there is often a choice, but not always. A fruit drink is also included. For the set lunches (almuerzos) I usually paid $2 - 3 (June, July, August 2011). The quality of the food can vary.
The first photo is from Pumapungo in Cuenca. For $2 you get a soup, a main plate, a desert and a juice. The first time I ate here I also got a bowl of Mote de Maíz and the second time I had lunch here (yes, I came back another day because it was a good lunch) I got a bowl of popcorn.
Photo 2 is from another good lunch restaurant El Copihue Rojo in Latacunga. Before the soup a small starter was served. Then I got the soup and the main course. The main course was rice, chicken and some vegetables. For dessert there was a small piece of canned fruit. It was a good set lunch and absolutely worth the money.
I usually keep notes of my expenses just to see how much money I spend during the holiday (and it is also good when writing tips on VT). But this lunch I have forgotten to write down. I can’t remember how much it was, but it was not more than $3.
Photo 3 is from a not so good restaurant. On Espejo, down from Plaza Grande in Quito, there are three neighbouring restaurants with outdoor tables on the pedestrian street. It was a nice day and I wanted to sit outside eating lunch, so I headed here. I found a table at the restaurant advertising almuerzos (lunches) for $2. The soup was okay, but the main course with a piece of leathering meat didn’t taste good at all. All set lunches I have eaten in Ecuador ,before this and after, have tasted better. The food was not good but the location was good for people watching.
Photo 4 is from a small restaurant on Av Amazonas in Quito. There were two different soups to chose from and I had the chicken soup. For the main course I chose carne de res (beef), but there was also chicken and pork available. For desert there was a small piece of watermelon and to drink tamarind juice. For $2 dollars it was a good meal!
Photo 5 is from Puerto Villamil in Galapagos Islands where I had almuerzo at one of the restaurants on the west side of Parque Central. First I got a soup (sopa de carne) and then a plate with fried fish, rice and some salad. Included in the price was also a juice. The price for the lunch was $3 and it was so much better than the lunch I had had the previous day (a sandwich and coca-cola for the same price).Related to:
- Budget Travel
Humitas is a traditional dish from the highlands. They are often served together with coffee for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Humitas are made of ground corn which is mixed with eggs, and often cheese and onions as well. The dough is then wrapped and tied in a corn husk and steamed. The humitas are often a bit sweet.
I have tried humitas three times, twice at Café Chapineros in Quito and once for breakfast at Santa Lucia Eco Lodge. I’m not very fond of humitas, but think it is something I will like better if I eat it more often.
SCRAMBLED EGGS AND POTATOES: BREAKFAST
One of my favourite dishes in the country was the scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast. I would head for any market to buy this delicious meal which is made in a large frying pan and costs very little. Try it, it's just like home!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Bandera is an Ecuadorian meal with rice, different ceviches (shrimp, fish and concha) and guatita, a stew made of tripe (cow stomach).
The Bandera in the 1st photo is from Cevicheria El Sol de Manta in Latacunga. It was served with half an avocado and a bowl of popcorn. The Bandera and an orange juice was $8.50 (August 2011).
The Bandera in the 2nd photo is from Ceviches Pedro y Pablo in Quito. With this bandera only one ceviche was served, a mix of shrimp and concha. The Bandera was served with a bowl of popcorn and mote (maize) and a lemon drink. It was $5.00 (June 2011).
Ceviche is a dish made of uncooked fresh seafood which is marinated in lemon juice, and it often comes with herbs and sliced onion and tomato on top. You can have ceviche made of fish, shrimps, squid or shellfish. You can also get a mixed ceviche with different seafood. I like the fish and/or shrimp ceviche best.
Ceviche is often served with popcorn or banana chips on the side.
The ceviche in the picture is a Ceviche de Pescado (fish) which I ate at the restaurant Rincón de Alma in Puerto Ayora. It was $8.50 (July 2011) and then a plate of banana chips were also included.
At restaurant El Sol de Manta in Latacunga I had a fish and shrimp ceviche, which was served with popcorn on the side. Together with a side order of avocado and a lemon juice it was $9.20.
In many places in Ecuador you can buy big fried empanadas. They are made of dough which is fried while you are waiting. They are warm when you eat them and they are delicious, but very greasy. The ones I had didn’t have any filling but sometimes there is a cheese filling.
The first photo is from the market in Zumbahua where I bought two empanadas and a coffee for $0.75 (July 2011). And the second photo is from Restaurant El Pollo Pachanguero in Centro Histórico in Quito, where I bought one for $0.50 when I passed by.
Besides these large fried empanadas you can of course buy the smaller empanadas with filling everywhere in Ecuador.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Rancho Chileno 1: The best empanadas in CUENCA !!!
Just next to the airport there is a very good restaurant. The quality of the food, the informal atmosphere, the rustic decoration and the tables in the space outside makes it worthy of a visit. Use it before or after the flight. Visit it even if you have arrived or are leaving by bus, as it is just 2 blocks from the main bus station on Avenida Espana. Have a meal, a drink or just a delicious “empanada” very typical in Ecuador. The international and traditional dishes are well cooked. The ceviches and prawn dishes are very tasty. Prices are between 1$ (for natural juices) and 6$ for the main dishes. The special beef dish costs 7$ and is really delicious.
There is also a second large space inside more formally decorated for special events.
The best is sitting outside on a sunny day munching the savoury food and watching the planes come and go...
The small street in front is called Elia Liut.
The owner Mayra Blandin L. will welcome you with a smile...
Click on the photo to see the empanadas...
Junto al aeropuerto un restaurante excellente con comida deliciosa y mesas afuera para disfrutar las mejores empanadas in Cuenca!Related to:
- Food and Dining
Rancho Chileno 2-CUENCA: for a romantic evening...
This is a very elegant restaurant with very good food and a romantic ambient. Candle lit tables, soft music and formal, delicate decoration makes it the perfect place for an unforgettable dinner with your sweetheart or a relaxed chat with your friends. Food is carefully cooked and involves international and local savours. Service is excellent and prices are surprisingly low for what it is. They are the same prices as its “brother” Ranch Chileno 1 near the airport. That is, main dishes around 6$, including both beef and seafood dishes, ceviches, prawns, shrimps, “lomo” and much more.
It's been recently renovated and has a huge upper floor hall for group dinners and special events.
It is also near the airport , just 80 meters further on Avenida Espana, on the same side of the street.
It's part of the traditional house of a respectable family of Cuenca.
Click on the photo.
Un restaurante con comida excelente, servicio impecable, ambiente formal y romantico. El mejor lugar para pasar un tarde inolvidable. Sala grande al segundo piso para eventos especiales.Related to:
- Food and Dining
El Maiz-CUENCA: Culinary art...
Walking down Calle Larga I stopped at the ruins of Todos los Santos. Looking up to my right I saw a beautiful beautiful balcony attached to a nicely decorated house. I had to take the photo so I went in and I was pleased to see the interior of the restaurant was equally pleasing. Wonderfully decorated, nice pale colors, happy atmosphere. Even the customers were smiling at me . I sat in the back yard balcony with the colourful little garden. When my order came I also had to take its picture so well presented. The taste was also satisfying and I quickly came to like the wonderful ladies, Eulalia and Maria, who tried to make everybody happy with their polite warmth and their smiling eagerness. They run the restaurant very efficiently and take care of every client as if they are their own friends. They have turned cooking to a culinary art, trying to combine their local products with the international idea of alimentation.
Prices are fine , around 6$ for the main dishes. You won't have to spend more than 8$ to make your stomach happy because the plate contains salad, vegetables rice or other things beside meat or fish you have ordered. This is common everywhere in Ecuador. Of course I should mention the cute little basket filled with baked corn – maiz tostado, in spanish – which justifies the restaurant's name and is so tasty that you can hardly stop before it is over...
Trout, beef (lomo), ceviche all plates are satisfying both to the eye and to the palate. I also tried quinua which is something like frumenty..quite interesting..
The building was originally a home of an old ecuadorian family and has been successfully converted to a pleasant restaurant, but you can still browse at the family items discretely exhibited in the beautiful corners or the colourful walls. Very nice! Even their flyers are works of art!
Click to see the food !!! and much more...
No se vaya de Cuenca sin disfrutar la comida y el ambiente de El Maiz. Todo es arte!Related to:
- Food and Dining
Las Nuestras: In Quito, don't miss the typical empanadas
If you travel to Ecuador and are the kind of typical food lover, like me, I highly recommend visiting Las Nuestras Empanadas Fast Food Restoran. Las Nuestras offers about 30 different types of Empanadas and delicious natural fruit juices (I recommend the Naranjilla Batido, just delicious!).
Favorite Dish: Typical empanadas from Ecuador include the ones that are best in this restoran: Morocho (hard to express for us gringos, just say MOROTJO so that guy understands what you want) Empanadas, Shrimp Empanadas and Carne Picante Empanada.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
Traveled thur Quito on a Eco Tourism trip. The Marriott was unforgetable. Beautiful hotel in every...more
Have stayed here several times - always recommended by my wife's family. It's easy to get to and...more
Av. de las Amazonas, Banos, 2000, Ecuador
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